Japan’s largest LDP faction to be dissolved amid fund scandal: media

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The largest faction of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), at the center of the enduring slush fund scandal, has decided to dissolve itself, local media reported on Friday.

The decision of the faction formerly led by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, or Seiwaken, was learned from multiple sources close to the matter, said Japan’s national daily Sankei Shimbun.

On Friday, Kishida, to restore public trust roiled by the deepening scandal, pledged to disband the LDP’s fourth-largest faction that he led until last month. According to multiple local media outlets, the LDP faction led by former LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai also announced its disbanding decision.

Japanese prosecutors on Friday filed charges against several individuals from three factions within the LDP, indicting without arrest the chief treasurers of the Abe and Nikai factions.

A former accountant of the Kishida faction received a summary indictment for allegedly failing to declare around 30 million yen (about 203,000 U.S. dollars) over the three years through 2020.

All indicted individuals, suspected of failing to report part of the factions’ revenue from fundraising events, faced charges of false accounting, in violation of the political funds control law.

The prosecutors also indicted, without arrest, Upper House member Yasutada Ohno, while Lower House member Yaichi Tanigawa received a summary indictment. Both lawmakers had left the LDP as of Friday.

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